Magazine article UN Chronicle

Commitment Is the Key

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Commitment Is the Key

Article excerpt

the world is on a deadline. The clock is ticking, and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is a global priority for governments. There is no doubt that the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS, global warming, and disarmament has received more coverage recently. But one issue that affects all, yet still goes under the radar, is hunger. That is why I will be focusing on MDG 1: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.

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Over a billion people currently suffer from malnutrition and under-nutrition, and even though there are bilateral and multilateral programmes and initiatives and official development assistance, hunger is still not a mainstream issue. Those that are not directly affected by it don't realize that in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia--two regions in the world with the most extreme cases of hunger and with some of the largest populations--people are living on less than a dollar a day. Even most people in developing countries in Latin America don't know what it's like to live under such awful conditions.

Progress has been made by numerous joint plans of the United Nations and governments, but it is not enough. By 2015, over 500 million people should no longer be suffering from malnutrition. It is easier said than done, and it sounds pretty on paper, but what the world needs right now is action--and a conscience. As a first step, current humanitarian aid should continue and be reinforced as a short-term solution. For those in dire need, the use of ready-to-use therapeutic foods is paramount. These foods cannot be underestimated as they have the capacity to feed large numbers of people, most importantly, children in such emergencies as the earthquake in Haiti or the floods in Pakistan. However, a transition period comes next, where the short-term plans meet medium- to long-term plans. This is where it becomes complicated. …

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